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A Tale of Two Roma's

MichaelJ

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Well back from the jolly bobs and pleased to say all the inhabitants are well, took me about 2 days to complete the head count but pretty sure there's none missing.

The tanks themselves were in much need of a good trimming, even by my standards. I'd already removed a few entangled vallisneria stems from the gyre and ceratopteris from the wave maker when I took these pictures.

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Both definitely in need of a serious bit of pruning..

In other news it appears I have an inclination as to what causes BBA, or at least what helps prevent it. Answer = regular maintenance 🙄.
Even though I've only been away 11 days it seems the lack of daily maintenance has given the dreaded algae the upper hand.
There's definitely a lot to be said for spending 20 mins a day observing the tanks, and dipping your hand in should you spy anything unterward.

So here's a couple of pics for the algae connoisseurs.

Blobitis seems to be the worst affected and have had to remove a fair amount of it.
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Old growth on the ludwigia looking shabby.

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Windelov also had a fair bit removed.

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Cryptocoryne providing lunch for the horned nerite. Also note the gsa on the glass.

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Haven't so much put this picture up for its bba credentials, although there is some on the echinodorus and vallisneria tips, to me its a good representation as to how overgrown and dense the far left of the tank is becoming.

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And a final token hardscape shot.

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I should at this point apologise to the Mods for posting so many pictures without shrinking them beforehand, hopefully it won't overload the servers 🙉

Jimmy Cricket was famous for saying "And there's more" and there is...

So I've obviously got my work cut out over the next few weeks and have already done quite a big trim, will be doing another one this weekend and hopefully that will restore the flow around the tank. For anybody wondering why I didn't just hack the lot back in one go its out of fear of spiking the co2 which has happened to me in the past, and almost gassed my fish.

On a brighter note the little echinodorus has now turned into a fully fledged plant. Its still currently attached to the mother plant via the stalk and will be separated soon, only thing is I don't have space for any more sword plants so my baby is probably going to go in the bin.

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The Mayaca red which I'd assumed was done for is actually starting to put out some new growth that doesn't look like a pipe cleaner 😜, nothing fantastic but it's not dead so that's a bonus in my book. You can see the old crippled rotting growth in this picture and the newer slightly better growth coming through.

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OK almost there, last few fish snaps.

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Cheerio folks.
Very nice job @John q ... Very lush and healthy! I always like mine a bit overgrown - or is it just me being lazy.

Cheers,
Michael
 

John q

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Very nice job @John q ... Very lush and healthy! I always like mine a bit overgrown - or is it just me being lazy.

Cheers,
Michael
Cheers @MichaelJ tbh I've been trying to thin out the growth for a while and did give it what I thought was a good trim before I went away. Thing is I hate throwing plants, i think the fish like the tanks overgrown and ultimately I like the unruly look of the tank.
 

John q

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Super quick update: BBA is on the back foot.... lights increased to 100% ( thought I'd see what would happen 🤔.)
Rotala wallichii is showing some signs of stunting, but is growing. Fish are healthy, which is number 1 priority.. 😀. Cheers.
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John q

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Probably time for an update...

BBA seems to like flow, to much flow encourages it, at least that's my observations.... so I've removed one of the wavemakers and tamed the gyre, bba is reducing 😀

Lights are currently at 100%, Water changes are at 60% with a mid week 20% thrown in. Fertiliser is added with the main water change, targeting 16ppm No3 and 5ppm PO4, micros dosed daily (0.1ppm Fe)

Is the regime working.. I've no idea

Rotala wallichii...
How can a plant sulk. Well this does, big time. Original stem via Roland is sulking and stunted, off shoot new growth is, ermm for me.... OK.
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As always the fish take center stage.

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Oh go on and plants.

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Happy fathers day peeps, this was my prezzie.

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John q

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Soooo... a long overdue update, be warned there's going to be a lot of pictures 😉

The hot weather in July & August didn't do my tanks any favours, I spent a week doing 5am/6.30pm water changes to keep the tanks below 29⁰C, but with work commitments this soon became a chore, for the next 4 weeks the lids were opened and a fan aimed at the tanks, temps came down to 27⁰C but still not ideal.
Nestled in between this I had the 2 week family holiday.
So quick synopsis, the tanks got mistreated a bit.

Here's a picture of the tanks in the middle of August looking all nice and overgrown.

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The big winner amongst all this up evil was bba, mainly on the Blobitis and moss.
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The biggest loser was the rotala wallichii.
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Rotala and moss pictures were from end of July, by the time I got back from holiday in mid August they were much worse.

So decided I need to thin the plants a bit, and that's what I've been TRYING to do, without much success for the last 6 or 7 weeks.
The biggest noticeable change is the Blyxa, we went from this.
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To this.
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There's been about half a bucket of various plants removed on a weekly basis, although to look at the tanks you wouldn't realise it. Here's how the tanks looked a couple of weeks ago, I obviously need to be more ruthless with the trimming.

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Anyway sorry for the disjointed update, I'm probably trying to cram to much into one update 😅

Finally some lushness for @Hufsa

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Will post some critter pics tomorrow when the servers have recovered from photo overload, lol.

Thanks for reading guys.
 

Ady34

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Lovely tanks and lovely journal. A great read.
 

MichaelJ

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Soooo... a long overdue update, be warned there's going to be a lot of pictures 😉

The hot weather in July & August didn't do my tanks any favours, I spent a week doing 5am/6.30pm water changes to keep the tanks below 29⁰C, but with work commitments this soon became a chore, for the next 4 weeks the lids were opened and a fan aimed at the tanks, temps came down to 27⁰C but still not ideal.
Nestled in between this I had the 2 week family holiday.
So quick synopsis, the tanks got mistreated a bit.


Will post some critter pics tomorrow when the servers have recovered from photo overload, lol.

Thanks for reading guys.

Hi @John q your tank(s) look absolutely beautiful (again)!! :cool: I like what you did on the trim. I've been somewhat in the same camp as you. Over the late spring and summer I haven't had much time for the hobby quite frankly (was traveling domestically and abroad on and off for 10 weeks or so, swamped with work and family events etc.), so I had to dial down WC's and maintenance quite a bit.. The great thing about established tanks is you can turn them around fairly quickly - just as you have shown.... My tanks - very overgrown and lots of plants doing not that great due to lack of of consistent ferts and trimming (no algae to speak of though) - are now completely back to the state I like them to be in.

Thanks for the update! 👍

Cheers,
Michael
 

John q

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Lovely tanks and lovely journal. A great read.
Thanks Ady, appreciate the comment 👍
Over the late spring and summer I haven't had much time for the hobby quite frankly (was traveling domestically and abroad on and off for 10 weeks or so, swamped with work and family events etc.), so I had to dial down WC's and maintenance quite a bit.. The great thing about established tanks is you can turn them around fairly quickly

Good to see you back mate and thank you for the kind words.

I think we all to easily fall into the trap of doing daily/weekly dosing or water changes and then get disheartened when normal life throws us a curved ball, and thus prevents us sticking to that tight regime. In reality well established tanks (in my case 2yrs) are quite resilient and seem able for a while to truck along without our intervention. Obviously if the tanks had been running on a razors edge this grace period would be somewhat diminished.
 

Tim Harrison

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Thea B

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Your tanks are looking beautiful. Such lush plants! I think you must be near me as Premier Aquatics is one of my local fish shops (and the best one).
 

John q

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Your fish all look very happy; I'm sure I can see them smiling :)
Haha thanks Tim, sometimes they can frown.
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Please note the parotocinclus had only been in the tank an hour when this photo was taken.
Your tanks are looking beautiful. Such lush plants! I think you must be near me as Premier Aquatics is one of my local fish shops (and the best one).
Thank you. I'm about 40 miles away from Premier, so not local but Ste runs such a good shop its worth travelling to.
 

John q

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Thanks mort.. yes totally underesimated fish, as you well know in the fish stores they look rather bland when young but colour up beautifully once relaxed and aged a little. Also incredibly peaceful and easy to keep.
 

dw1305

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John q

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Things I forgot to put in my update....

Co2 bottles. I've struggled getting them re filled, how do you get rid of them...
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Blyxa japonica shows good colouration with low light.
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Ancistrus eat echinodorus.
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Seemingly delicate plants can push their way through 65mm of compacted gravel.
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And come out fine.
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And finally everybody likes an otocinclus photo 👍
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Keep your feet on the ground guys, but reach for the stars 🌟
 
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